Empty homes, empty claims
Letter to the editor
How are the real estate spruikers going to explain away Melbourne’s reported rental vacancy rate of 4.4% (“Melbourne Full of Empty Homes” Age 26/1/12)? Developer lobbyists were crying for new land releases when vacancy rates were low to provide affordable (read “isolated and without infrastructure”) housing, so what’s the team line now?
As reported vacancy rates exclude empty homes not on the rental market, it’s anyone’s guess what the real rate is. Ken Henry’s tax review called for a proper land tax to force empty homes onto the market, but as long as homes are viewed as an investment opportunity rather than a place to live then a land tax isn’t going to happen.
Karl Williams, Tecoma